Sanyo VPC-CG9 review
The CG9 is the smallest camcorder on test here and uses the same pistol-grip design as the larger Sanyo VPC-HD700 and HD1000 models overleaf. Unlike the HD700’s natural ergonomic feel, though, the CG9 is so small it can feel awkward to use for those with larger hands. Instead of the controls resting conveniently under the thumb, they lie further towards the palm, annoyingly just out of reach.
Aside from this slight inconvenience when trying to shoot footage, the camera is very portable and can easily fit in a trouser pocket, weighing just 200g.
The CG9 is as easy to use as it is to transport, featuring little in the way of physical controls, though various settings can be changed via the menu. The only frustration we encountered while using the device (aside from the dodgy ergonomics) was that the battery had to be removed to charge it, which required unclipping a plastic side panel.
The CG9 is the cheapest camcorder in our test, so it was no surprise that it struggled in our quality tests. A paltry 40MB of internal storage is included, so you have to rely almost exclusively on SD cards for storage.
Although it is capable of capturing stills at an impressive 9.1 megapixels, its 640 x 480 video resolution is the lowest here. And while it has a reasonably large 1/2.33in sensor, the footage it captured was unimpressive. Images appeared grainy, and the lack of resolution failed to provide enough clarity to make images stand out. Even the high-res stills were poor, with output noisy and over-compressed.
Attempting to use the zoom while shooting stretched the CG9’s image stabilisation to, and beyond, its limits, especially at the huge 60x digital maximum. Low-light conditions led to more problems, with the automatic white balance adding a strange hue to rooms. High levels of noise were visible in dark scenes.
Due to the poor footage quality, and the lack of internal storage, the CG9 is best suited to short bursts for the web. But it’s expensive for a web footage camera, and stills fail to impress, so it’s hard to recommend on any front.
|Camcorder HD standard||None|
|Camcorder maximum video resolution||640 x 480|
|Camera megapixel rating||9.1MP|
|Camcorder recording format||MPEG-4, H.264|
|Camera optical zoom range||5.0x|
|Camera optical image stabilisation||no|
|Electronic image stabilisation?||yes|
|Number of sensors||1|
|Internal mic type||Stereo|
|External mic socket?||no|
|Quoted battery life||160mins|
|Dimensions||39 x 76 x 109mm (WDH)|
|Camcorder internal storage type||Flash memory|
|Memory card support||SD/SDHC Card|
|Composite video output?||yes|
|Component video output?||no|